Sunday, 30 December 2012

How to Exercise When You Don't Have Time

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, right? And it's important to maintain a balanced lifestyle whilst studying for those all-important exam(s).
 But the thing is not everyone wants a gym membership or to flail breathlessly jog outside in the cold. Most people struggle to find the time to exercise and for a beginner, the prospect of all that effort and (perceived) pain actually isn't that attractive.
These are all problems that I have faced.
After a bit of experimentation, I have found a way to overcome these problems by exercising in my room. This way, I can still get some physical activity in the colder months and can do it when the mood strikes and during my study breaks.
However, I don't believe in rigid, unchangeable routines. I prefer a more 'pick and mix' approach:

  1. Warm up (some ideas here)
  2. Choose 5 exercises (like these or these) and do 8-15 repetitions of each (depending on your fitness level)
  3. Rest for 1-2 minutes
  4. Repeat if you want
  5. Cool down stretches when you're done
This would take about 15-25 minutes, depending on what you choose. You can do this once a day or several times a day. First thing in the morning is great for shaking off that early-morning grogginess! Be sure to switch things up so you don't get bored.

Handy tip
You can use water bottles for weights (just make sure they're closed properly before you begin as being doused in water is not nice :/ ). Experiment with different amounts of water to give lighter or heavier masses. 

Please be aware that this is not a substitute for all other physical activity (sorry, you should still walk to school and attend badminton/football/kung fu practice) but is intended for use when you are short of time or need a quick break from working. 
Also, consult a doctor before attempting a new exercise regime if you have a medical condition that is affected by physical activity e.g. asthma or diabetes.
Make sure you stop if you feel pain! This shouldn't hurt. If you feel yourself getting tired, switch exercises, even if you haven't completed the set. 
If you are new to exercise, have at least one or two days off a week to let your body recover so you don't get injured.

Give these a go and tell me what you think. Which exercises are the most effective? Which ones are just plain nasty?


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